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National Lead Consultant, FGM/C Situation Assessment At He United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) - Multiple Locations

Date Posted: 06/Jun/2014
Deadline: 06/Jun/2014
  • Specialization Admin / Finance
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  • Location Nigeria


The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the leading UN organization in Reproductive Health and Population and Development  is recruiting Consultants to provide consultancy services for a situation assessment and analysis, knowledge, attitude and practice/qualitative study on social norms around FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION/CUTTING  (FGM/C) in three (3) States  -  IMO, EBONYI & OSUN STATES.

Female genital cutting (FGM/C) also referred to as female circumcision or female genital mutilation (FGM) is practiced at various scales in many communities and settings in Nigeria (NDHS, 2008). According to the national representative survey, 30% of Nigerian women are circumcised (NDHS, 2008).  But the 2003 NDHS established a prevalence rate of 19% which is an indication when compared with the NDHS 2008 data of 30% that the prevalence of FGM/C have increased over the past 5 years. Even the current UNICEF study places Nigeria prevalence at 27%, (UNICEF, 2013, Global Burden Report). In this same study, 35% of boys and men and 31% of girls and women reported that they do not know what opposite sex thinks about FGM/C; while 62% of all men and women think it should end (UNICEF, 2013). There have been variations in the states and ethnic prevalence and burden in Nigeria. It is greatest in the Southern zones, among the Yoruba (58%) and Igbo (51%), and among urban residents which helps to explain the zonal and urban-rural variations where these 2 traditional ethnic groups live in Nigeria. (NDHS, 2008). In the four (4) out of the three selected states, the prevalence also vary with Cross River state 38%, Ebony 62.3%, Osun 73.4% and Oyo with 71% respectively (MICS, 2011). There is also need for further research to ascertain a more accurate prevalence of the practice in Nigeria. Many reasons have been adduced for the continued perpetuation of this harmful practice which include: reduction of sexual desire in females to curtail perceived promiscuity and protecting virginity before marriage; ensuring husband’s sexual pleasure; promoting social integration and initiation of girls into womanhood; myths around the likely death of a baby whose head touches the clitoris during childbirth; as well as uninformed religious reasons, hygiene and aesthetic misconceptions among others.  FGM is a violation of the human dignity and rights of girls and women and seriously undermines their health, security and physical integrity as well as a major cause of psychological and social problems. Gender and power relations underlie and reinforce the practice          of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  women are promiscuous, unclean, unmarriageable, physically undesirable and/or potential health risks to themselves and their children, especially during childbirth. These beliefs and collective pattern of behavior deployed by families and communities that practice FGM/C underpin this practice as a social prefer to conform to this practice on condition that they believe (a) most people in their relevant network conform          
Addressing the challenges of FGM/C in Nigeria has become imperative not only because of its harmful impact on the reproductive and sexual health of girls and women, but also because it violates their fundamental rights. So far, efforts to abandon this practice in Nigeria have used several different approaches which, in turn, have had implication for interventions. Some of these approaches include those based on human rights frameworks, legal mechanisms, health risks, alternative rites, positive deviance, training health workers as change agents, training and converting circumcisers. Interventions based on these approaches have targeted stakeholders at individual, interpersonal, community and national levels (Muteshi & Sass, 2005) with minimal result and knowledge gap on the dynamics and role of social norm as a key factor influencing FGM/C thus the need for refining understanding of how social norms operate to perpetuate this practice. Abandonment of FGM/C requires a process of social change that results in new expectations and collective behaviour change by families and communities which requires in-depth understanding of the nature of identified social norms, a firm grasp of the reasons behind them including reasons behind people’s choices and possibly change negative ones. The overall benefit of this approach is the attainment of positive social change that will eventually result in the abandonment of FGM/C which is crucial to the attainment of both national and international health and development goals. This benefit will also contribute to the attainment of National level Policies and promotion of gender equality, reduction of infant mortality rate, improving maternal health and overall respect and fulfilment of the rights of children especially the girl child.

Duties and Responsibilities


This study will therefore provide an analysis and understanding on the nature, types of social norms and their effect on social motivation of families and communities and FGM/C including proposal on strategy for a shift from old norm to a new norm in favour of FGM/C abandonment in Imo, Ebonyi, Lagos, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo States in Nigeria. It is important at the commencement of the implementation of the global Programme in Nigeria to establish a baseline for interventions by undertaking a situational analysis including KAP assessment and in-depth study on social norms in the communities and states of focus. Furthermore, it is hoped that the outcome of the study will enable the development of appropriate communication strategy that will promote social change for the abandonment of FGM/C.
Based on the above, UNFPA/UNICEF joint Programme on the abandonment of FGM/C in Nigeria seeks to      conduct a situation assessment and analysis including KAP and qualitative study on social norms to inform strategies for the implementation of the Programme. The study will focus on two levels of interrogation (a) to determine the situation, current trends and prevalence of FGM/C (b) to gain in-depth understanding of social norms and its dynamics on social motivation of families and communities and the practice of FGM/C in 6 focus states in Nigeria.

Study Objectives
The purpose of the consultancy is to (a) review and document the current situation of FGM/C, conduct a knowledge, attitude and practice survey including a sound analysis of the social norms; social networks that influence and sustain FGM/C in three focus states (b) develop evidence informed strategy for social change towards the abandonment of FGM/C in Nigeria.

The specific objectives of this study include:-

    Conduct a desk/ literature review on the current trend and situation of FGM/C in Nigeria with reference to three States (Imo, Ebonyi and Osun  States)
    Conduct Knowledge, Attitude and Practices survey and in-depth qualitative study on social norms around FGM/C in Nigeria
    Undertake review of studies and interventions on FGM/C in Nigeria particularly in the three selected states to establish environment, determinants, strengths, emerging issues and gaps.
    Analyze the impacting motives, behavior, preferences of individuals within the social system and the interdependence therein.
    Undertake an in-depth analysis of community social networks influencing patterns and collective behavior around the practice of FGM/C
    Recommend how to change current social expectation and create new social expectation or both
    Develop a country specific strategy on FGM/C in the context of social norm and implication for programming in Nigeria

A literature search should flag case studies or ‘panels’ if any of communities where FGM/C has declined in
recent years and what drove those positive changes, drawing lessons into the national study report

    Map patterns of social norms, behaviors, social networks and references that are common to ‘reinforce’ FGM/C and on the other hand ‘positively abandon it'
    Propose key questions that would guide the study to achieve the objectives including the following:-
    What is the trend of FGM/C in the country and each of the three States? What changes have occurred over time, particularly recently and why?
    What are the drivers of change in FGM/C in high prevalence and low/non-prevalence communities?
    What are the commonalities and diversities in these drivers of FGM/C in the context of social norms, social networks and references that entrench or create positive change?
    What are the positive defiance that have emerged in communities where positive change has happened in recent years and what lessons to take into the recommendations of the study?


The consultancy include use desk/literature review and qualitative study using appropriate methodology and
tools to be elaborated by a lead consultant - to examine the issues, understanding of phenomena to analysis
and answer questions on FGM/C and the dynamics of social norm. The study will be conducted in three states Osun, Ebonyi and Imo states) purposefully selected based on various characteristics which
are of interest in this study. The desk review will focus on relevant materials and documents on legal
frameworks, coordination platforms, practices, interventions and trends in abandonment of FGM/C in Nigeria
and in the 3 selected states with regional and global comparisons. The lead consultants (an international with
expertise on social norms and a national consultant) shall prepare for the national task force/technical team’s
approval, the design, sampling, protocol, tools etc for this study as part of the inception report in agreement
and alignment with the UNFPA/UNICEF joint Programme on FGM/C to the extent possible. The lead
consultants shall also provide technical assistance and supervision to three state level consultants and research
assistants who will be required to facilitate state level interactions and data gathering processes. The two lead
consultants will be expected to have occasional dialogues with the national task force on FGM/C based on the
following defined roles and responsibilities

Lead consultants (National)

    Overall technical leadership and guidance for the design, conduct, quality assurance and reporting of the study
    Sound application of consistent methodology and tools – from design, development, pretesting to implementation
    Prepare the inception report and engage with UNICEF/UNFPA and the national FGM/C taskforce  to incorporate the changes and comments of key stakeholders
    Support the recruitment and training of state level consultants and research assistants
    Provide technical guidance and support to state level consultants
    Draft, review, harmonize and finalize national study reports, provide standard format and technical guidance to the State level reports
    Assist UNFPA/UNICEF on tasks related to the study


End Products/Deliverables
•    Study plan sampling designs and tools
•    Report of consultation with national taskforce on FGM/C and other stakeholders
•    Training guide for state level consultants and research assistants
•    Report of training of state level consultants and research assistants
•    Comprehensive report on the situation of FGM/C and the context of social norms
•    Country specific strategy on FGM/C  and the context of social norms


Required Competencies:


    Exemplifying integrity
    Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system
    Embracing cultural diversity
    Embracing change

Core Competencies

    Achieving results
    Being accountable
    Developing and applying professional expertise/business acumen
    Thinking analytically and strategically
    Working in teams/managing ourselves and our relationships
    Communicating for impact

Required Skillset

    Strategically positioning UNFPA programmes
    Providing conceptual innovation to support programme effectiveness
    Generating, managing and promoting the use of knowledge and information
    Providing a technical support system
    Strengthening the programming capacity of implementing partners
    Facilitating quality programmatic results
    Internal and External relations and advocacy for results mobilization.

Desirable Skills

    Proven experience in designing, organizing and conducting training i.e. gender-based violence, human rights and protection
    Prior experience in managing and engaging in community work especially social mobilization, facilitating community discussion
    Prior working experience in Nigeria or other African countries


Required Skills and Experience

    Post graduate qualification in social sciences, public health or a related area of specialty
    Demonstrated research ability with minimum of  12 - 15 years experience (evidenced by sample of publication)
    Good understanding and experience in the field of social norms, gender, gender based violence, community dynamics
    Experience of working with UN
    Excellent writing skills and extensive experience in writing and documenting
    Good inter-personal skills and ability to work with range of government, UN and civil society development partners
    Previous professional experience of managing and facilitating inter-agency exercise
    Excellent communication and advocacy skills
    Excellent written English skills
    Ability to work with a team

Method of Application

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